News and Notes: September 17, 2021

  1. Fall Thoughts – Doing What Counts


    I have always enjoyed September and the promise of fall – with the crisp evening air, fire pits, and football. I know this fall still seems very different to us all than in years past. We are still experiencing significant impacts on our daily lives related to the coronavirus and the importance of keeping one another and our clientele safe and healthy. I recognize the additional burdens of figuring out childcare coverage, navigating local school protocols, and managing our own concerns (and the concerns of others) as we continue to find our way through this pandemic. I truly appreciate all you have been doing as colleagues and friends to work through both personal and professional needs in the spaces where you work and live. I know it has not been easy expanding and contracting programming and adjusting schedules based on continually moving targets. I also know that it’s easy to be pulled in many directions as various stakeholders reach out with requests and it is often too easy to say yes to everything, instead of:

    • “yes, but later.”
    • “I can’t, but perhaps [insert name] can.”
    • “that is something that is on our plan of work for 2022”
    • “I appreciate the offer to get involved and that is a great topic, but my calendar is full until…” and even,
    • “I am sorry but that is not something I can commit to because…”

    It is so important to focus on what really matters right now, to give attention to the key priorities of your program, your role, your plan of work. When is the last time you pruned what wasn’t key? Did you use the last year to identify what wasn’t missed or could be done differently? Is something truly a sacred cow or do we just imagine it is? Don’t be afraid to ask what can/should be reduced or eliminated and what key initiatives, goals, outcomes are important this year and make room to place a laser focus on them. I, too, face daily distractions, multiple demands from internal and external stakeholders, and even more challenging sometimes… the new and exciting opportunities that are hard to let pass you by. It is always a challenge. The key is focusing on what counts and continuing to assess and reassess what matters. I’d like to share a bit of wisdom on that topic from one of our very own. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me this week:

    Do the Things Which Will Count
    Emily Marrison, family and consumer sciences educator, OSU Extension

    I keep a small, blue booklet within arm’s reach of my desk. I have found it to be a valuable tool and inspiration in the work that I do. It was published in February 1922, yet has timeless wisdom. T.J. Talbert of the Kansas State Agricultural College Division of College Extension penned “The Extension Worker’s Code” as a guide to excel in educational outreach efforts. Much of the advice is useful for anyone regardless of your calling in life.

    This spring I was especially struck by the section titled “Do the Things Which Will Count.” Depending on our personalities, we can be inclined to get sucked into things that waste precious time. I’m not just talking about lazy habits like watching too much television or letting time evaporate while you are on the internet. We know those are time wasters, right? I’m also talking about the good things that still aren’t the best things. Talbert puts it this way, “It is a great art to know what to leave undone, to know how to weed out the less important things, and to spend one’s energies in doing the things which will count.” He goes on to say, “Once we have formulated a plan… we must stick to it regardless of our tendency to be sidetracked by other pressing duties and obligations. Otherwise, all our good resolution and work begun will amount to little or nothing.”

    I had adjusted quickly to working from home during 2020 and the beginning of 2021. At first, it was strange to be less busy, but it was also incredibly freeing. As many workers have returned to in-person work in businesses and offices over the past few months, I’ve heard more comments about feeling busy again. In a quest to squelch this slow creep of the return to busyness, I’ve also been reading a more modern bulletin from an Extension colleague in this century. Tim Tanner developed a time management curriculum for Extension professionals.

    Tim is an avid reader and researcher, and he found that American employees are at their best when they possess high levels of personal well-being. He also found that ancient and modern religious scholars have long noted that an orderly approach to daily life creates greater human joy. Studies show time and time again that we humans are not created to be efficient multitaskers. MIT neuroscientist, Earl Miller, says that our brains focus on one thing at a time. When we attempt to multitask, we are actually switching back and forth very quickly between tasks and missing out on key observances.

    The last thing we need is to climb back onto the hamster wheel many of us had escaped from. Here are three things I am doing to discipline myself to do the things which will count:

    1. Emails: I do not keep my email open all day long. That way, the arrival of a new message does not dictate that I immediately answer it. Responding to all messages once in the morning and once in the afternoon allows me to focus on tasks fully the rest of the day.
    2. Reading: I schedule time on my calendar each week to read and research to keep up with the latest discoveries and information in my field.
    3. Goals: My 2021 goals are posted on the wall near my desk. They are a daily reminder of the most important things to focus on, so that the urgent does not win over the important.

    Today I’ll leave you with this quote from William Carey. My husband keeps this quote near his planning calendar. For doers who like to stay busy, these are wise words to consider. “I’m not afraid of failure; I’m afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

  2. Vaccine Exemption Requests Due Today

    Today is the last day to submit requests for medical, religious, and personal reasons for exemption from the vaccine mandate. There is no indication that this deadline will be extended. I urge you to submit your exemptions, regardless of the reason. It is my understanding that they will be quite liberal in accepting reasons for the request, if a good faith effort in drafting a request is made. More information about the exemptions allowed under this policy is available at

    As has been described in the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes communications, the primary requirement attached to exemptions being approved is to obtain regular testing. While the details are still being figured out, there is a great desire to make testing as easy and affordable as possible – across the state. The goal of the university with this vaccine requirement is to make sure that as many individuals as possible are vaccinated; and for those who are not vaccinated to reduce, as much as possible, the potential for the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. I hope you will choose submitting your exemption request over pre-emptively choosing to resign. Every one of you is so very important to the success of this organization, and my hope is that we will all choose to stay and to work together to achieve our mission.

  3. Vaccine Updates and Deadline Reminder

    The university shares updates regularly; and everyone is encouraged to check the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website often. There are extensive FAQs associated with the vaccination requirement and the exemption process. In terms of reporting, faculty and staff should report their status through the Employee Reporting Form, even if they previously have shared their vaccination information with the university through other means.

    • Sept 17: Deadline to submit COVID-19 exemption requests to ensure that all requests can be reviewed prior to the Oct. 15 deadline
    • Oct. 15: Deadline to report at least your first vaccine dose or obtain an approved exemption.
    • Nov. 15: Deadline to complete second dose of vaccine (for those having a two-dose vaccine).
  4. CFAES Faculty can Apply to Attend DC Days in May 2022

    The Office for Research and Graduate Education will once again be offering an opportunity for CFAES faculty to visit federal funding agencies next spring. The D.C. Days program encourages researchers to become more competitive by providing an opportunity to visit with federal program officers. This allows researchers to determine if a basic research concept matches the sponsor’s mission, seek advice concerning project design and appropriate funding track, and better understand the peer review process. About 10 individuals will be chosen through a competitive application process to meet with program agencies in Washington, DC on May 8-11, 2022.

    For past trip recaps, pictures, and comments, visit Application details are in the attached document. Contact Pam Schlegel ( if you have questions.

  5. OSU Extension Annual Urban Summit on October 1 is Now Virtual

    To make it easier for you to participate in the annual OSU Extension Urban Summit, the event will now be held via Zoom from 10am-12pm on October 1. A fun agenda includes the opportunity to: connect with your urban colleagues; create some new tools to better connect with your community through storytelling; and learn about a new Urban October campaign and how you can be involved.

    We look forward to getting together on October 1 to reconnect with one another and share the good things happening in urban communities across the state. Register by September 27 to participate in the Summit. There is no charge, and registrants will receive an agenda and Zoom link prior to the event. Visit for additional information and registration.

  6. Extension Today – NBC4 Partnership Pilot Project Underway

    Extension Today is a pilot project and new partnership of NBC4 WCMH-TV, OSU Extension, and CFAES. NBC4 is partnering with OSU Extension and the college to share viewer-focused stories about gardening, cooking, and other tips and resources for improving central Ohioans’ gardens, lives, families, and local communities. For the next six months, NBC4 will air a special Extension Today segment on Daytime Columbus each Wednesday, as well as on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Daytime Columbus is a locally-produced talk show which takes a closer look at area businesses, organizations, and resources available in central Ohio. After NBC4 also promotes the show on its Facebook page, OSU Extension will share a link to each video, as well as CFAES and Extension resources such as fact sheets, photos, connections with our specialists, etc. online. We will then promote the segments on social media as well.

    Special thanks to Tim McDermott and Jenny Lobb, educators with the Franklin County office of OSU Extension, for hosting this new segment and partnering with numerous guests over the next few months. Current topics are about growing tomatoes, recipes for tomatoes and sweet corn; tailgate grilling, virtual reality and other highlights of Farm Science Review, fall lawn care, apples, pumpkins, fall planting for winter, staying active in colder months, etc. Visit to check it out!

    We are always looking to make the content on these new webpages more robust for our viewers. If you have any resources you feel might be a good addition to any of the topics (before OR after the segments air on TV), contact Cheryl Buck (, Extension communication manager.

  7. Ohio JCEP Award Nominations due Oct. 1

    There are several other award opportunities open to Ohio JCEP members. Learn more about the creative works, team teaching, and Excellence in Extension awards online. The contact for each award area is listed online if you have questions; and this also contains the link for the Friend of Extension award nominations.

  8. Apply Now for Outreach and Engagement Staff Grants – due by Sept. 30

    The Office of Outreach and Engagement is offering two new grants for university staff. The Outreach and Engagement Community Programs and Events Grant provides staff the opportunity to create and implement community engaged programs; while the Outreach and Engagement Professional Development Grant provides staff funding to further their career growth and development. Both grants are for a maximum of $500, and applications are due on Sept. 30. Read more at

  9. CFAES Staff Advisory Council is Accepting Staff Professional Development Award Nominations by Sept. 30

    The staff professional development awards provided by the CFAES Staff Advisory Council are to help supplement the costs associated with travel and fees for professional development opportunities for regular full-time or part-time CFAES staff members. This is a one-time reimbursement for expenses related to professional development activities, not to exceed $250. The application deadline for this second round is Sept. 30. Professional development award recipients have one year from the date of approval to use the award.

    The application is posted at Staff members who receive an award in the second round of 2021 will be contacted by the CFAES SAC staff recognition taskforce at the end of October.

  10. CFAES Awards Call for Nominations is Now Open

    The CFAES Awards web page includes information about each award and criteria, a link to the Qualtrics nomination portal, and a link for additional nomination information for the Office of Research and Graduate Education awards. Note that some awards are restricted to one nomination per TIU (department/school) or college unit. Award nominations are due Nov. 1.

    If you have questions about the nomination process, contact Michelle Anderson (, administrative associate for faculty and staff affairs. Questions about award areas and criteria can be addressed to the CFAES office that is sponsoring and coordinating the award. See for the list of awards and coordinating offices.

  11. OSU Extension Branding Update to be Implemented during Fall 2021

    Effective September 2021, OSU Extension is tweaking how we apply the university brand to our OSU Extension identity. This is officially a secondary signature under The Ohio State University; it is a “brand mark” that is to be used in conjunction with the CFAES tag and the college name. You may also find this new mark occasionally is referred to as a logo; these words tend to be used interchangeably as people work on projects. Visit to see the new mark and basic instructions, as well as download the relevant files.

    Moving forward, by year-end 2021, we are required to use the Extension brand mark on all new or reprinted materials. If you have materials already created for events in the next few weeks, you can continue to use those items as is. Add the updated branding on any materials you are revising or creating new during fall 2021. The Extension mark should be fully in use by year-end 2021.

    The 4-H name and emblem is a federal mark. The university has the ability to say how that federal mark is used in conjunction with the OSU Extension mark; and files that combine the Extension mark with the 4-H emblem have been created for your use. Instructions for proper use of the 4-H name/emblem with the Extension mark are included in the merchandise and apparel guidelines, and it will be built into 4-H-related templates on the CFAES brand site ( under “Logo Basics,” then “Other Marks.”

    We will be updating all of the Extension-specific templates over time this fall (e.g. infographics), so please be patient as those changes are made during this rollout. If you need to use a template sooner, you will need to download the mark and switch it out. There are a number of other materials this change will affect; those will all also be addressed over time. We will also work on any co-branding needs with Central State University Extension. Extension nametags will remain as is for now. Any brand updates for the Extension state, county, and related unit websites will be handled at the state level. Do not adjust any branding on your county or unit website. If you have any questions, contact Cheryl Buck (, Extension communication manager.

    Brand approval reminder – ALL materials created by OSU Extension professionals for distribution to the public must be reviewed and approved by the CFAES brand approval team. Those items can be submitted to

  12. Ohio JCEP Professional Development Award Recipients Announced

    Congratulations to the following Ohio JCEP (Joint Council of Extension Professionals) members who were recently selected to receive a professional development award: Chris Bruynis, International Farm Management Association Congress; and Cheryl Spires, Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.

    Ohio JCEP professional development (PD) awards are given out three times annually. Individuals must be full JCEP members and apply prior to the one of the annual deadlines. For more information, visit PD awards were previously called PD scholarships, but we are transitioning the name in 2021. Look for reminders in 2022 to apply for these awards, which are up to $750 to support your professional development.

  13. Ohio JCEP Funds Still Available for First-Timer National Conference Attendance

    Never attended a national Extension Association conference in-person? The Ohio JCEP Scholarship, Grants, and Recognition Committee has remaining funds for first-timer awards to be used for an Extension national conference. The committee will continue to accept and review applications for the first-timer award on a rolling basis until all of the 2021 funds are awarded. Visit for information and link to the application.

  14. OSU Leadership Center Offers Numerous Learning Opportunities

    The OSU Leadership Center provides leadership-centered education and research to individuals, families, organizations and communities. Learn more about the center’s high-quality practical programs (now primarily offered online) to build and strengthen leadership capacities at Some upcoming topics include leading from wherever you area, coffee and conversation online, inclusive leadership, advanced CliftonStrengths, and change style preferences.

  15. Register for Rejuvenate and Renew Webinar Series

    The Office of the Chief Wellness Officer is pleased to announce registration is open for Rejuvenate and Renew: Part V of the Stay Calm and Well Webinar Series. The latest edition takes a new direction focusing on strategies and best practices to help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed after a difficult 18 months. Earn 2,000 YP4H (Your Plan for Health) points by attending five of the six sessions and completing the post-evaluation surveys. The sessions take place on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm starting Sept. 29. Learn more online.